In Depth

Branded residences: the rise of the home from home

Fred Scarlett, sales and marketing director at Clivedale London, gives his take on luxury apartments

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Luxury apartments are no longer just about location or design. For wealthy international buyers, it’s the services on offer within super-prime developments that make all the difference, and branded residences are a concept that satisfy this demand.

The term “branded residences” refers to luxury homes associated with a premium brand. In most cases, these brands are hoteliers, offering investors the opportunity to buy into the quality and high levels of service that are synonymous with upscale luxury hospitality brands. Typically, these offerings include a full range of concierge services, in-residence dining and catering, housekeeping, spa services and instant elevation within the hotel’s loyalty schemes.

The concept of a branded residence was dreamed up almost a century ago in North America, following the economic boom of the 1920s, with the Sherry-Netherland apart-hotel in New York often recognised as the first of this kind. Now, 100 years on, there are more than 400 branded residences in operation internationally and 70 schemes set to complete in 2020 alone, with leading luxury brand partners including the likes of Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, Aman, One&Only and Waldorf Astoria.

Traditionally, it was hoteliers like these that drove the growth of branded residences, mainly to generate a broader income stream, while at the same time diversifying their portfolios. More recently, however, real estate developers like ourselves – Clivedale – are recognising the significant benefit of partnering with a reputable hotel brand to enhance residential services, creating an edge that few other developers have.

Branded residences’ international popularity has been fuelled by an ever-growing ultra-mobile global elite and their demand for flexible, 24/7 five-star hotel-style living. Looking at this from an international viewpoint, branded residences make the perfect investment choice for unfamiliar and non-native residents, giving clients the opportunity to buy into a home with a globally recognised, reputable brand that they can trust.

We have seen a great deal of interest from the brand devotees and patrons at both our Mayfair Park Residences scheme, Dorchester Collection’s first foray into the luxury residential market, and our Mandarin Oriental residences – The Residences at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London, set to launch in 2021 – which has seen 70% of its homes sold over two years prior to its completion.

The success of branded residences is echoed further as, recently, other non-hotelier luxury lifestyle brands have entered the market, such as Versace, Porsche and Armani. Last year, Condé Nast also announced plans to diversify. Transition into the market for those not usually classed as hospitality brands shows that this is both a successful and lucrative business venture, which we forecast to grow further in years to come.

However, in an increasingly competitive market, it’s the delivery of the services that sets developments apart, not just the brand. 

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